This one will really hit you in the heart and gut. Hard, but necessary watch. Hard in that you watch a young and active person slowly decline due to an illness. A person in the prime of their life. Hard not to wonder with all the technological advances and that we can travel to the Moon or Mars and we cannot cure this horrible disease. Makes you wonder why we put money into space travel over curing diseases. The pandemic we are living through demonstrates that if the world works together scientists can come up with vaccines (and I presume cures) in short order. Discussion for another day, I guess.
Here we have a documentary that came about after the publishing of a posthumous book about the short life of Mallory Smith. We get an up close and very personal look from the point of view of someone who is trying to get as much living of life in while they know they are dying. Tough stuff! A strong young lady.
Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of three, Mallory grew up in what could best be described as a very typical family. Two parents and two kids – a boy and a girl. Mallory had cystic fibrosis while her brother was perfectly healthy.
While going through what her disease brought on, Mallory turned to writing to help her get through it. She began secretly keeping a diary to record all her feelings. Because she writes and speaks so well the whole thing has a very organic feel to it. Not a false note is struck. You also understand how a person who can seem rather ordinary at first glance can prove themselves to be extraordinary. A very rich and sharp portrait of this young woman is painted here. Mallory’s humanity and her family’s heartbreak are etched into every frame.
Through the 96 minutes of the film, directed by Will Battersby, we really get an understanding of Mallory and her family and all they are going through. Plus how strong they are. Despite the tragedy unfolding before their eyes. They are hopeful and pleasant long after most of us would have given in to despair.
Battersby uses all of Mallory’s writing, some photos, audio, and even some interviews with her to flesh out this very particular coming-of-age story. Though we all know the inevitable ending, it is still an uplifting film (though there are bound to be tears shed) as it demonstrates hope, an acknowledgment of the beauty of life and perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds. If Mallory and her family could smile through this then how can we not? Also will inspire those who watch not to take life for granted and, as such, try to live it to its fullest.
The film is now available in Canada on Apple TV/ITunes and Microsoft/Xbox.